Success Story

Why JetBlue Trains its Pilots in Orlando

JetBlue training simulator
JetBlue training simulators at the company’s training operations located at Orlando International Airport.

Industry: Aviation & Airlines

Facility Function: Training Center

Year Founded in Orlando: 2005

Location: Orlando International Airport (MCO)

Employees: 300

Square Footage: 105,000

Why Orlando?

JetBlue needed a centralized location to train the majority of its crewmembers. Since much of the company’s training is simulated, it made sense to locate its largest training center in the Modeling, Simulation and Training capital of the world: Orlando.

FAST FACTS

  • In a typical year, up to 4,000 new hires come through the campus*
  • 100 percent of JetBlue’s pilot training happens in Orlando
  • JetBlue opened the doors of its Orlando training campus in June 2005
  • The facility is officially named the Orlando Support Campus
  • Orlando is one of four JetBlue training centers in the U.S. and the only location that houses the company’s training simulators

*Numbers have fluctuated since the onset of COVID-19, and training practices, including cleaning protocols, continue to be updated.

Where Does the Magic Happen?

The Orlando Support Campus (OSC) is located on the northeast sector of the Orlando International Airport (MCO) and occupies 105,000 square feet of space at its facility. MCO is the busiest airport in Florida (10th busiest in the U.S.) and its central location makes for easy, centralized access for its crewmembers to move in and out of the training center quickly and efficiently.

Plus, Orlando’s year-round flying weather allows for uninterrupted access to the training center.

What Happens at the Orlando Support Campus?

JetBlue University, the training arm for all of JetBlue crewmembers, conducts approximately 85 percent of its training operations from OSC. The campus encompasses training spaces as well as The Lodge, a housing facility where crewmembers in training reside.

Typically, 3,000-4,000 new trainees come through the campus each year, including 100 percent of JetBlue’s future pilots. While JetBlue University conducts training in Salt Lake City, New York City, Boston, Orlando is the largest training center and sole location for the company’s simulators. JetBlue also hosts its leadership at the facility each week to provide orientation for new team members that emphasizes the company’s renown culture of safety, caring, integrity, passion and fun.

The training simulators give crewmembers hands-on experience, complimenting the knowledge and skills in the program. OSC currently holds eight full flight simulators, seven fixed training devices, four cabin simulators, nine door and overwing exit simulators, and one airports simulator; the company has plans to add to its equipment with additional simulators on order.

FAST FACTS

  • OSC provides training for members of JetBlue’s inflight, ground and airport operations, customer support and reservations, and technical operations teams
  • Training programs last anywhere from five days to 11 weeks
  • JetBlue University offers training services for purchase to other organizations
  • The company offers a rigorous program called Gateway Select that allows applicants to train to become a JetBlue pilot

The Secret Ingredient to Their Success: A Learning Laboratory

As a training operation, JetBlue University both creates and instructs its curriculum from OSC. Not only are a majority of its crewmembers receiving training at the facility, a majority of JetBlue faculty work on campus as well. OSC employs a number of support teams including learning design, learning analytics, continuous training improvement, learning records, training scheduling, campus support, and training sales.

JetBlue faculty work in discipline-specific roles and are hired from frontline crewmember groups, many from the local area. A majority of the company’s learning-focused support team members are graduates from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and other local universities, in particular UCF’s masters level programs in Education, Instructional Design & Technology, Industrial and Organizational Psycology, and Data Science.

 “We’ve been very pleased with our partnership and collaboration with the education programs at UCF, and the graduates that we’ve hired.”

FAST FACTS

  • JetBlue University consists of approximately 300 faculty members across all disciplines

The Final Word

Orlando has been a great, central location for us. The city has a large focus on simulation & training, so it is a great place to be located.

Jeff Kruse, Director Inflight and Systems Operations Training